Gainesville resident Julias Long , 29, confronts a bloodied man with swastikas on his shirt. "I wanted to know why he
felt the way he did,” Long said. Richard Spencer protest at UF, Oct. 19, 2017. Photo by Santo Dileo.
Thousands of students and community activists took to the streets of Gainesville, Florida to snuff out the white nationalist narrative of Richard Spencer, who spoke at the University of Florida on Thursday.
UCF student Alex Peterson, 21, traveled to UF to join the protest.
“I came because I am sick and tired of neo-Nazis and white supremacists being normalized,” Peterson, a history and political science double major, said.
Most of Spencer’s speech, held at UF’s Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, was drowned out by protesters’ jeers and chants.
More than 500 law enforcement officials were deployed to UF’s campus as Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Alachua County on Monday. The state of emergency was ended Thursday as the event subsided, according to an official release.
Three men from Texas were arrested by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) for firing a single shot, which hit a nearby building and didn’t harm anyone, into the crowd of protesters, according to a Gainesville Police Department news release. The men are currently in the Alachua County Jail on charges of attempted homicide, according to the same source.
Orlando resident Sean Brijmohan, 28, was also arrested by the ACSO for carrying a firearm on school property, according to an ACSO official tweet.
A Gainesville man was arrested at the protest for resisting officers without violence, according to an ACSO official tweet.
Five minor injuries were recorded and immediately treated by fire rescue teams at the event, according to a Gainesville Police Department news release.